How to organize your work day
A list is a worker's best friend
If you are like me, you get to the end of your work day and ask yourself, “What did I actually do today?” First of all, you may have completed more tasks than you think. Although you may not actually sit down and organize your work day, you may be working in an organized manner. To feel more productive at the end of the day, and to figure out just what you have accomplished, try out some of these suggestions.
Make a list
People who work from home, especially if they work around their family and their schedules, know the value of making lists. Jotting down your To Do List some makes the tasks you need to accomplish more manageable. In fact, the mere act of writing down what you need to do helps you weed out the things that should not even be on your list and also puts the most important or time-sensitive tasks at the forefront. In short: by seeing it on the list, you are more apt to get it done. You can even go one step further and put the most important tasks at the top so you can try to accomplish them first.
A great place to write your lists is in a calendar planner of some sort. Planners and calendar planner refills such as the popular Day Runners and At A Glance Daily Planners make it easy to see all of your tasks and appointments together in one central area. Let’s face it. If you cannot find your list, what good is it? Keeping your To Do List in this centralized location where you can find it at a moment’s notice makes your work day run much more smoothly.
Check it off
Now that you have your list, go through each task. Do this each time you organize your work day. Beginning with the most important, go through each task and work on it until it is completed, if at all possible. Sometimes it is necessary to wait for someone else’s input on a project, or for some necessary piece of information to be finalized, but if you can, finish the task completely before going on to the next task on your list. You will be amazed at the sense of accomplishment you will feel when even one or two of your tasks are crossed off your list!
If you prefer using a simple notebook or even keeping a digital form of your list, go ahead and do what works best for you. This is an essential part of how to organize your work day. The point is to work off your list so you can see the check marks or the lines through your completed tasks.
Develop your system
A filing system is essential to staying organized on the job. Some people prefer to keep everything on their computer so they have a digital record, and some people prefer the tried and true method of paper files. While I advocate the Green practices of keeping everything digital, I find a combination of both works best for me. That way, if I lose something and a client calls, I can lay my hands on the pieces of information I will most likely need if my computer is off or, perish the thought, crashes all together. Develop a good filing system and use it faithfully to organize your work day.
Filing cabinets are a great way to keep everything sorted and organized without having it sitting out in the open looking like a mess. It is easy to access and keeps everything neatly tucked away until you are ready to use it. Keep things even better organized with classroom storage tall baskets with handles from a teacher supply store. Small items such as pens or boxes of extra paperclips can be stored and easily accessed in them. Having extras of things you use regularly is an excellent way to organize your work day.
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